Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oceana Philippines Tañon Strait Photo Safari Summary & Highlights: 6 Days, 5 Towns, 3 Islands, 1 Fantastic Journey

6-day Oceana Philippines Photo Safari Route Map © 2015 Oggie Ramos
Full moon above Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Day 1: Cebu City to Bantayan Island 
From the bustle of Cebu City, we headed over to laidback Bantayan, our vans loaded on a ro-ro. Full moon, moonlight serenade, sinugba dinner on the beach over at Anika Resort. Spent the night in container vans converted into rather comfy accommodations.

Virgin Island off Bantayan
Day 2: Bantayan Island: Visiting Virgin Island, Sunsetting at Madridejos 
Infected by the tropical vibe of Virgin island.  We found local color (and eating stuff) at the Madridejos market before finding kids catching what's left of the day's sunlight in bottles.  Awed by the sunset and seeing Lawis reef exposed during low tide.

Elegant Farmhouse at Aloguinsan
Day 3: Bantayan Island to Aloguinsan and Moalboal
Boated languidly along Bojo River after a relaxing, sumptuous lunch.  Found  the wonderful Farmhouse at Aloguinsan; oggled the gardens after having tsokolate e with suman.  Arrived late for the sunset at Hale Manna in Moalboal.  Full-on fever from foot and back infections.   Nikon camera gone wonky. But boy, these rooms in Hale Manna are ginormous.

Breathtaking Hale Manna sunset in Moalboal
Day 4: Pescador, Bas Diot and Panagsama
As the team dove and snorkeled, had to content myself onboard the boat shooting fishermen using hooks and lines around Pescador island.  Missed the sardine run in Panagsama. 
Befriended one of the dogs over at Club Serena (great lunch and snacks by the way).  Enjoyed our limited time in Hale Manna.   Hoping and praying I'd find myself back there in some future time.

Mantalip Reef accommodations
Day 5: Moalboal to Bindoy, Mantalip Reef 
Start of two days of living on Harold Dive Center's liveaboard.  Had the pleasure of meeting and traveling with Harold Biglete, Jr., he of Harold's Mansion's renown.  Had an enlightening interview/talk with Mayor Valente Yap after a generous lunch at the Mangrove Pavilion in Bindoy.  Spent overnight literally atop the reef and crashing waves on Mantalip. Had a blast shooting the night sky above the reef while having a lively discussion with the guards stationed there.

Playful spinner dolphins in Bais
Day 6: Bindoy to Bais and Dumaguete
Met the friendly spinner dolphins of Bais, unruly other boats in the area notwithstanding.  Graced by the presence of these cetaceans, one of 27 species of dolphins and whales that either call the Tañon strait home or passageway.  Sailed to Dumaguete tired but happy.  Looked forward to eating the local version of tempura on Rizal Boulevard, sans rival at where else but Sans Rival resto, and taking a decent bath after two days out on the sea.  

Note: This post recaps a 5-part series of features of our 6-day photo safari along Tañon Strait for Oceana Philippines.  On a global scale, Oceana is dedicated to helping protect and restore the world's oceans. In the Philippines, the local office of Oceana is seeking to restore the health, richness, and abundance of our local oceans by ensuring sustainable fisheries and vibrant marine ecosystems.


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